Sorry for my silence yesterday. Travalon and I went to the Nau-Ti-Gal for Valentine’s Day dinner. Usually they are not open on Tuesdays in the winter, but last night they had a special of sirloin and lobster tail, and a free glass of champagne. We figured it wouldn’t be too crowded there, and it wasn’t once I got back from Irish class, but the waitress told us it had been packed between five and six. She also told us there is a ghost in the basement that they call Larry, although she is unclear if that is his real name or just something one of the busboys dubbed him. He wears a blue raincoat and is friendly, and she said he was the ghost of someone who was shot in the bar years ago, when it was a different establishment called Hanson’s. She said she actually felt safer on nights when she is there alone, knowing Larry is there with her. I guess he is a good ghost!
During my workday yesterday, I went to a “diversity conversation,” which was a brainstorming session. Everyone at my table was a white woman, so we didn’t really know what to say about minority experiences. One woman did mention that women in the Obama administration did what they called “amplification,” so that when one woman had a good idea in a meeting, the other women would say, “Jenny, your idea about X is a really good one!” so that men couldn’t steal credit for their ideas. As I was walking back to my office from this session, since it was a gorgeous day, I started thinking about humor. The jokes I heard as a kid were the suppressors joking about the suppressed, so all the jokes were at the expense of women and minorities. When I was in college, I watched a lot of stand-up comics, and then it was the reverse: black comedians joked about white people, and women comedians joked about men. Now I don’t particularly care for either style and prefer humor based on situations or other things that do not demean people, but I hadn’t thought before of how cruel it is for the people on top to joke about those with less. At least I can understand people who are suppressed making fun of their suppressors, but why mock those who are less well off? Is it to keep them down?